To understand the challenges and opportunities associated with the use of social and digital business, MIT Sloan Management Review, in collaboration with Deloitte, conducted its fifth annual survey of more than 3,700 business executives, managers, and analysts from organizations around the world.

The survey, conducted in the fall of 2015, captured insights from individuals in 131 countries and 27 industries, from organizations of various sizes. More than two-thirds of the respondents were from outside of the United States. The sample was drawn from a number of sources, including MIT Sloan Management Reviewreaders, Deloitte Dbriefs webcast subscribers, and other interested parties. In addition to our survey results, we interviewed business executives from a number of industries, as well as technology vendors, to understand the practical issues facing organizations today. Their insights contributed to a richer understanding of the data.

Surveys in the first three years of this research collaboration were conducted with a focus on social business. This year’s study and last year’s expanded to include digital business.

Digital maturity was measured in this year’s study similar to how it was measured in prior years. We asked respondents to “imagine an ideal organization transformed by digital technologies and capabilities that improve processes, engage talent across the organization, and drive new value-generating business models.” We then asked respondents to rate their company against that ideal on a scale of 1 to 10. Three maturity groups were observed: “early” (1-3), “developing” (4-6), and “maturing” (7-10).

A hierarchical cluster analysis confirmed the composition of these maturity groups. The analysis revealed three distinct clusters of respondents who had similar answers to specific survey questions related to organizational structure and culture. Characteristics of the clusters related to culture, talent, and leadership align closely to those of the “early,” “developing,” and “maturing” groups noted above.